Live: 2012 Tour de France – Prologue (6.4km Time Trial)
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Tour de France 2012 (Poster by Chungkong)
Please, join us for live blogging of the Prologue of the 2012 Tour de France. Live coverage will begin from 8:30PM, will full coverage from 10PM.
It’s finally here, le Grand Depart for Le Tour from sunny Fran… I mean, Belgium? That’s correct, this year’s edition of the Tour de France starts with a 6.4km prologue through the streets of Liege, Belgium.
The city that is more commonly associated with being the start and finish of the oldest one day race in the world, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, this year also has the privilege of hosting the start of la Grande Boucle.
This prologue individual time-trial is short, fast and furious. It is the same as was used in 2004, when Liege last hosted the start of the Tour. The winner then was a much younger Fabian Cancellara – beating Lance Armstrong by two seconds.
With so much of Fabian’s season lost to the crash in the Tour of Flanders, you can bet he will be pushing to repeat the result of eight years ago.
Looking at the course, there are five turns close to or at 90 degrees – not including some other sweeping bends. It makes for one of the more technical of prologue circuits, meaning other time trial specialists like Tony Martin and Bradley Wiggins are a very real chance of taking the win.
The latter however may choose to ensure a high placing and avoid the win, as conserving his Sky team mates for the rigors of the coming weeks will key. Having them on the front of the peloton too early will certainly not be in the Team Sky game plan.
Another contender to watch out for is rising star Peter Sagan. He took the win in the recent Tour de Suisse 7.4km prologue by four seconds over Cancellara, so would certainly fancy his chances on the opening day.
Something else to watch out for is Cadel Evans’ start. As he is the defending Tour de France champion it means he will be again in the maillot jaune. Hopefully not for the last time this Tour. However we only got one look at him in it last year, so another will certainly be great for all his fans both in Australia and abroad.
I know I’m excited, I’m sure you are too! I have no doubt it will be memorable and as someone who loves a time trial I’ll do my very best to answer and all questions you might have.
So please, join us tonight for live blogging of the start of the 2012 Tour de France.